Eastman Leadership Conference

Conference Faculty

Jamal Rossi

Jamal J. Rossi is the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music. Having served in leadership roles in music for more than two decades, Rossi has spearheaded significant collaborative educational and community initiatives and has wide-ranging experience in academic scholarship and leadership, teaching, performance, recording, and fundraising. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Rossi served as the Executive Associate Dean at Eastman. Previous academic leadership appointments include serving as Dean of the School of Music at the University of South Carolina, and Assistant and Associate... more
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Mary Ellen Poole

Before beginning work as director of the Butler School of Music in June 2014, Mary Ellen Poole served for ten years as dean of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she increased enrollment, built a renowned faculty, and oversaw construction of an $80 million facility in the heart of the city's arts district. She is known in the Bay Area for her partnerships with civic organizations, including the San Francisco Opera, and she helped to internationalize the Conservatory's programs and student body. Dr. Poole joined the San Francisco... more
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Todd Queen

Dr. Todd Queen was recently appointed as the Dean of the College of Music at Florida State University. His previous position was Dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts and Penniman Family Professor of Music, a position he held from 2014-2021. His unique combination of teaching, directing and performing experience has allowed him to travel the world as an educator, stage director, singer and arts leader. During his time at LSU, Queen worked with the faculty to modernize the undergraduate curriculum to meet the needs of... more
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Donna Brink Fox

Donna Brink Fox is Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York. Dr. Fox joined the Eastman music education faculty in 1984 and was named Eisenhart Professor of Music Education in 1998, the first endowed professor to be named at the School. Earned degrees are a PhD in Music Education (The Ohio State University, 1982); an MM in Music (Ohio University, 1975); and a BA in Music History and Music Education (Calvin College, 1972). Additional study... more
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Cathy Hain

Cathy Hain has twenty years of experience working in development for the performing arts and higher education. Prior to her current role as Associate Vice President for University Advancement at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Cathy spent seven years as Assistant Vice President of Advancement for the Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman, she doubled the school’s annual fundraising totals and completed the leadership phase of Eastman’s $100M Centennial Campaign. In addition to raising financial support, she has experience building successful volunteer leadership groups and engaging alumni. Prior... more
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Mercedes Ramírez Fernández

Mercedes Ramírez Fernández serves as the Richard Feldman Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Rochester. She was recruited in 2019 to open the University’s inaugural Office of Equity and Inclusion and to serve as the institution’s first chief diversity officer. As a member of the president’s executive team, Mercedes is an influential voice at senior leadership, cabinet, and executive committee meetings, where she advocates for policy and decision-making decisions through a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most recently, Mercedes served... more
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Matthew Ardizzone

Matthew Ardizzone joined the Eastman Admissions team as the Associate Dean of Admissions in 2009. He is now Associate Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management, overseeing admissions, financial aid and the Registrar. An Eastman alumnus, he was the first guitarist to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (1997) and was also awarded the Performer's Certificate. Prior to attending Eastman, he received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in guitar performance from Ithaca College. His extensive background as a performer includes numerous concert and festival appearances across North America.... more
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Rachel Roberts

Rachel Roberts serves on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester as the Associate Professor of Music Leadership and Graduate Degree Program Director; as of June 1, 2021, she will also serve as the next Director of the Institute for Music Leadership. Currently, she teaches and leads Eastman’s new Master of Arts in Music Leadership degree program. Roberts holds degrees from Eastman (BM, flute performance) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education; she has also started doctoral studies at University of Rochester’s Warner... more
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Jennifer Horn

Jennifer Horn joined Eastman’s leadership team as Finance Director in 2018. She is now Executive Director of Finance and Administration overseeing Finance, Human Resources, and Administrative Operations. Prior to Eastman, Jennifer held financial leadership positions in small business, non-profit, and corporate finance, including 16 years at Xerox Corporation. Jennifer holds a BA in Music and Arts Administration from Goucher College, an MM in Flute Performance and Literature from Eastman, and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester’s Simon School. more
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William Pelto

Bill Pelto joined The College Music Society's national staff as Executive Director in August 2017, after a twenty-six-year career in higher education. A music theorist by specialty, he held a tenured faculty appointment in the Ithaca College School of Music during the 1990s and served as that school’s Associate Dean from 2000 to 2009. While at Ithaca, he collaborated with Richard Hoffman and John W. White to develop the Takadimi system of rhythm solfege. During the 2004-2005 academic year, he served as an American Council on Education Fellow, including... more
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